How Secure is Your Transaction?

By: James Cloney
How do you tell if your Internet connections are secure? These days many people are opting to use the Internet or World Wide Web for shopping instead of fighting for a parking space in crowded towns and cities. You can buy anything from books to groceries, even book that long needed holiday. But how secure is your online transaction.
Nearly all online purchases are made with a credit card and in some cases a debit card or laser card. To ensure the safety of you personal details many web sites use something known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt your card details as they are sent from your home pc to the company hosting the online shop. These sites usually inform you they are using this technology. If the don’t check if the web address on the page that asks for your credit card information begins with ” https:// ” instead of ” http:// “.
This is something to watch out for when you are carrying out a purchase online. You should only ever give your password and credit card number through a secure connection on a web site, never in an e-mail.
“Theft of identity,” in which someone gets access to your bank account or gets credit cards or loans in your name, is a problem, and you should carefully guard personal information that might allow a thief to impersonate you.
Other ways to tell whether a web site uses security software:
* You see the icon of a lock on the status bar (Microsoft Internet Explorer).
* Your browser displays the icon of a locked padlock at the bottom of the screen (Netscape Navigator; – versions 4.0 and higher);
* You see the icon of an unbroken key at the bottom of the screen (earlier versions of Netscape Navigator);
Alternatively if you see something you like on the web but don’t want to give your credit card details online many web merchants allow you to order online and give your credit card information over the phone. If you’re more comfortable with this option, make a note of the phone number, company, the date and time of your call, and the name of the person who recorded your credit card number. Hence you have all the details should anything go wrong. Happy shopping.

An introduction to teleworking

By: Helen Barry
What is ‘Teleworking’?
Teleworking involves working at a distance from your employer or clients, either at home, on the road, or at a locally based centre. In this ‘new’ business environment you can work almost anywhere provided that you have access to a computer, telephone and fax to keep in contact with your employer, customers or clients.
Why Telework?
Teleworking offers many benefits to the organisation, the individual and society including:
* extended customer reachability
* flexible access to relevant information independent of time and location e.g. by sales reps
* cost savings for central work places including a reduction in office space (desk sharing)
* increased productivity
* access to employees at geographically distant locations
* improved balance of work demands and private life
* increase in satisfaction and motivation
* reduction in time off sick
What are the essential equipment requirements for Teleworking?
The equipment needed varies according to the work being done and the situation within which the teleworker delivers services, but some or all of the following equipment may be used by the teleworker:
a personal computer/laptop, some dedicated software, a dedicated telephone (usually two lines, one for voice messages and one for data), a printer, an answering machine or equivalent, a fax, a scanner, a modem (if not installed as part of the computer package), broad band connectivity (if work involves the transfer of large files or for video conferencing, this requires a different sort of modem-e.g. ISDN Terminal Adapter, Cable Modem).
What types of business activities are suitable to Teleworking?
It is important to remember that not all types of business activity are suitable for teleworking. Fields of expertise that may be suitable to adaptation include for example: web design, graphic design, desktop publishing, document services, proofreading, editing, journalism, computer & administration services, database/spreadsheet applications, data processing/scanning, payroll administration, computerised accounts, financial analysis, mailing agency, translation services, event management, correspondence handling, theses compilation, compilation of mailing lists, consultancy services and many more.

PHP In Business Part 2

By: Keith Hearne
Following on from the last article in which we talked about in business, we take a deeper look at the technology and give a further insight into the benefits of PHP for your business.
1. Efficient Development and Maintenance
PHP can help to quantify the roles between developer and designer, offering a variety of libraries to work with page templates, which introduces efficient development methodology and simplifies maintenance. Developer’s focus on the application logic, and designers can change the layout of a dynamic page without involving the developer or interfering with the program logic, making for faster application development, maintenance becomes easier and both can be handled by separate team members.
2. Faster Time to Market
IT managers and developers demand high productivity from their development environments. PHP is lightweight, can solve complex web development problems quicker and its easily to use in comparison to other, more cumbersome solutions. Programmers familiar with C, Perl, or Java, can get acquainted with PHP in a matter of days, producing small database enabled applications after just one afternoon.
3. Connectivity
PHP offers a broad range of database connectivity, both open source and commercial. The native database access offers better performance and tighter control than layered access methods such as ODBC (which is still available for databases not supported natively). PHP also supports most current Internet standards: IMAP, FTP, POP, XML, WDDX, LDAP, NIS, and SNMP to list but a few. All this from one common tool set, without the need for expensive third party modules.
4. Existing Enterprise Logic
Since version 4.0, PHP supports direct access to Java objects on any system with a Java Virtual Machine available, as well as Distributed COM on Windows. This means a significantly lower Cost of Ownership and enables business to leverage existing technology and develop new applications in an easier way.
5. Portability
PHP has the advantage of being platform independent and can run on all popular platforms, including Linux, Windows, MacOS, and even OS/2. This portability is the key to scalable applications, so there is no need to worry about platform-specific features.
6. Performance
PHP can provides a performance gain and with free add-ons such as The Zend Optimizer from Zend Technologies, can perform on-the-fly code optimizations to enhance the running speed of PHP applications (typically executing 40% to 100% faster).
echnology is getting faster, development is getting quicker and so the methods employed to achieve this must be reliable, robust and fast. If your business requires rapid development, performance, scalability, security and more then PHP is a strong option for you to consider.

PHP In Business (An Introduction)

By: Keith Hearne
One of the Web’s hottest server side technologies at the moment is PHP. Recent studies carried out by Netcraft have found that PHP is in use on over 6% of all Web domains in the world (see, which is surprising when you consider that a good deal of people, even those in the computer industry themselves do not necessarily know what PHP is. Clearly, the rise of PHP has gone largely unnoticed.
What Is PHP? PHP is an Open Source language developed by Rasmus Lerdorf, a then Toronto-based IT-consultant who unleashed the first version of PHP way back in 1994 and then in 1997, Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans, two developers from Israel, rewrote the core engine of PHP and the language parser, turning PHP into a complete programming language.
PHP borrows its language style and syntax from a number of other sources, including C, Java, Perl, and others while its principles are similar to those of Sun’s JSP, or Microsoft’s ASP which can all used to create dynamic web content. For many people with previous programming experience, this means implementing their first Web-based application in PHP is a simple affair, as they already have an implicit understanding of how their program should go together.
Why PHP? There are a number of reasons that would appeal to the decision of using PHP.
* PHP is Open Source. This is very beneficial to PHP’s notoriety, the main reason being cost. How Much? Nothing! You install PHP and away you go, you’re up and running and programming in PHP. Total cost? The time and effort it takes to set it all up. This is what makes this technology very attractive to the hacker mentality that the Internet was built on. Why pay for something when you can get something just as good or better for free?
* PHP performs sophisticated mathematical calculations, provides network information, offers mail and regular expression capabilities, and much more.
* PHP’s strongest feature is its database interfacing capability, supporting many of the most popular database servers on the market, including MySQL, Oracle, Sybase, MySQL, Generic ODBC, and PostgreSQL, to name a few. In particular, PHP’s interfacing capabilities with MySQL (see perhaps the most powerful database server found on the market today are very impressive with MySQL having its own PHP API.
So with web based businesses such as Amazon, Xoom and Lycos all using PHP, as well as hundreds of thousands small to medium Web sites. Can you afford not to get clued in to PHP?
A simple download for PHP is available at Go surf!!!!
(This article is Part 1 of a 2 part series)

ADSL – What is it and do I need it?

By: Shane Dempsey
Let’s face it, in Ireland home Internet access is just too S-L-O-W. If you have a 56 Kbps (Kilo bits per second) modem you’re unlikely to get download speeds above 4 Kilobytes per second (8 bits to a byte and congested networks). Start adding images to web pages and they quickly grow to well over 50 Kilobytes making access quite slow even if common images are stored on your computer or cached. The good news is that the situation will improve and there are faster Internet access methods. ISDN is one of possibility but this is a relatively old technology, fast by comparison with 56K modems.
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Loop (ADSL) is a much newer modem technology, which has been developed over the last 10 years to provide a broadband (transmission over a wide range of frequencies), always-on connection over an ordinary telephone line, on top of the existing telephone service. As the name suggests, it’s asymmetric and provides a greater downstream capacity (towards the customer) than upstream capacity. The cable linking the Local Exchange or Central Office of the telephone network with the customer’s premises is designed to deliver the 4 kHz of bandwidth needed for the standard analogue voice telephone service but can carry signals at much higher frequencies. Above 20 kHz, the signals are severely distorted. ADSL modems carry the broadband signals at frequencies between 20kHz and 1.104MHz (M stands for Mega or million) and use sophisticated encoding/decoding techniques to overcome the distortion.
The modulation scheme (how data is transmitted over the wire) is constantly adapted to compensate for the distortion at these high frequencies. ADSL modems can theoretically deliver up to about 8Mbit/s downstream and almost 1Mbit/s upstream but the actual transmission rate that can be achieved is strongly dependent on the length and quality of the copper cable. Customers must be within a few kilometers of their local exchange. In general, ADSL modems contain a Public Switched Telephony Network (PSTN) splitter, allowing ADSL and telephone signals to be carried on the same copper pair. The splitter acts as a filter, routing low frequency PSTN signals to the telephone and high frequency ADSL signals into the ADSL encoder/decoder.
Most ADSL operators offer a range of service options. Each option provides varying levels of downstream and upstream transmission rates. Eircom is still carrying out trials on their ADSL service, called I-Stream. Home customers of the service can expect to pay around EUR250 for equipment and setup and around EUR100 per month. Business customers wishing to connect a network of 4 or more users to the web via ADSL will pay about 390 Euro for equipment and setup and a further EUR225 a month. These products offer 512/128 Kbps and 1Mbps/256 Kbps transmission rates, respectively.
This is not the complete story however as ADSL is ‘always-on’ technology. This means that your machine or network is always connected to the Internet. This means that you don’t have to wait 30 seconds or so while your computer dials up and you receive e-mails instantly. The downside is that you absolutely require security software that can act as a firewall to stop from stealing information or tampering with your computer.

Page 202 of 210« First...102030...200201202203204...210...Last »